Countdown to Calvin: Girls Report Week 8
January 22, 2018
By Geoff Kimmerly
Second Half editor
This week’s “Countdown to Calvin” came with some tougher choices than usual.
Our “Week in Review” of the top five meaningful games could’ve been 10, at least. Our “Watch List” is growing in every class – and we had enough jump out this week especially in Class A that finding more to highlight the rest of the way won’t be difficult.
Countdown to Calvin is powered by MI Student Aid and based on results and schedules posted for each school at MHSAA.com. To offer corrections or help us fill in missing scores, email me at Geoff@mhsaa.com.
Week in Review
The countdown of last week’s five most intriguing results:
1. Kingsley 61, Maple City Glen Lake 45 – The Stags made a big statement in the Northwest Conference, remaining undefeated overall while handing Glen Lake its first defeat of 2017-18.
2. Detroit Mumford 44, Ypsilanti Arbor Prep 35 – A string of three losses at the end of December is becoming a memory for Mumford with big wins like this one over last year’s Class B runner-up, now arguably the favorite in Class C.
3. Grand Rapids South Christian 57, East Grand Rapids 40 – The Sailors stand alone atop the Ottawa-Kent Conference Gold standings after handing the Pioneers their first league loss and second defeat overall.
4. Gaylord St. Mary 41, Bellaire 39 – St. Mary moved a game up in the Ski Valley Conference standings and should in statewide Class D regard after this meeting of teams that are a combined 19-3.
5. Monroe St. Mary Catholic Central 52, New Boston Huron 47 (OT) – The Kestrels moved into first place alone in the Huron League with just one loss overall after handing Huron its first this season.
With an eye toward March, here are two teams in each class making sparks:
East Kentwood (12-0) – The Falcons arguably have been the most impressive team in the state. After finishing Class A runner-up last season, East Kentwood opened this one with eight wins by at least 16 points. The Falcons then won closer over O-K Red rivals Grand Haven (8-3) and Caledonia (8-2), but upped the margin again beating second-place Hudsonville (9-3) by 31 on Friday.
St. Clair Shores Lakeview (12-0) – Last season’s 21-2 run ended abruptly in a District Final loss, but that’s proving to be just a bump as the Huskies are cruising again. Fraser has come closest to catching them, falling by only 11 on Dec. 12 – and Lakeview won the rematch Friday by 29. The Huskies also own a 20-point win over New Baltimore Anchor Bay, the next-best team in the Macomb Area Conference Blue.
Armada (9-1) – The Tigers won 13 games a year ago and finished second in the Blue Water Area Conference to Croswell-Lexington. Armada now sits in first in the league thanks to a 44-42 win over the Pioneers on Friday, with two more league wins by four points or fewer. The only loss came last week as well, by two to Marlette.
Stanton Central Montcalm (13-0) – The Hornets’ 17 wins last season represented an increase for the fourth straight winter, and they’re making an even bigger splash. Not only is Central Montcalm undefeated in a Central State Activities Association Gold that also includes Big Rapids (11-1) and Reed City (9-2), but the Hornets have 10 wins by double digits and another nice victory over Class A Greenville (7-3).
Allen Park Cabrini (8-2) – The Monarchs opened 0-2 but haven’t lost since Dec. 5, their latest win a one-pointer over Madison Heights Bishop Foley. That was one of only two single-digit wins during the run – Riverview Gabriel Richard got within five earlier this month. Big games against Wixom St. Catherine and Royal Oak Shrine over the next two weeks will be telling.
Harbor Springs (7-4) – Harbor Springs finds itself with some intriguing opportunities in the Lake Michigan Conference after upsetting Kalkaska 47-42 on Friday despite falling to the reigning league co-champion big twice last winter. The Rams this week get first place Traverse City St. Francis and second-place Charlevoix, with more visions of vengeance no doubt.
Chassell (10-1) – Since falling to L’Anse by four points in its opener, Chassell is undefeated and nearly unchallenged with only one other single-digit game – against Baraga on Dec. 12. The Panthers are first and Baraga is second in the Copper Country division of the Copper Mountain Conference after Chassell finished third a year ago.
Harbor Springs Harbor Light Christian (11-0) – The Swordsmen are building off Northern Lakes Conference and District titles last season, and excelling. They won an overtime game early over Harbor Springs (see above), but aside from a close win right after over Alanson have dominated. Harbor Light also has a 25-point win over NLC second-place Mackinaw City with their second meeting coming up next week.
Be on the lookout for results of these games coming up:
Tuesday – Detroit Country Day (8-1) at Detroit Edison Public School Academy (9-1) – The reigning Class B and Class C champions, respectively, remain among heavy favorites in those brackets.
Tuesday – Bloomfield Hills Marian (9-1) at Farmington Hills Mercy (11-1) – This rivalry means as much as ever, as Marian won the first meeting 53-46 and the winner of this one could end up Detroit Catholic League Central champion.
Tuesday – Cedarville (11-1) at St. Ignace (10-0) – These are among the best small-school teams in the Upper Peninsula, with a 61-29 Saints win Dec. 6 the difference between which is undefeated.
Tuesday – Tecumseh (7-3) at Chelsea (10-1) – Both are undefeated in Southeastern Conference White play, Chelsea ahead in the standings with one more league win.
Friday – Macomb Dakota (9-2) at Warren Cousino (8-4) – After a 3-3 start, Cousino is surging in Macomb Area Conference Red play and can move into a tie for first place with Dakota if it can avenge a nine-point loss to the Cougars from Jan. 9.
PHOTOS: Grand Rapids South Christian, here against Ada Forest Hills Eastern, has surged into the top spot in the O-K Gold. (Photo courtesy of the Grand Rapids South Christian athletic department.)
Lansing Catholic Closes Season With Memorable Victory Close to Home
By Paul Costanzo
Special for MHSAA.com
March 18, 2023
EAST LANSING – The Lansing Catholic girls basketball team took a short drive to end a long wait.
Playing just three miles from their high school, the Cougars defeated Frankenmuth 43-29 Saturday at the Breslin Center to win the MHSAA Division 2 Final. It was the first Finals title for the program since 1995.
“It felt like homecourt advantage a little bit,” Lansing Catholic senior guard Hannah Pricco said. “Our bus trip wasn’t super long. It just kind of felt like we were coming to our own court.”
The Cougars treated it that way, dominating from the beginning of the matchup in their first Finals trip since that 1995 title. They scored the game’s first 11 points and never looked back.
“This is, as you can imagine, extremely surreal,” Lansing Catholic coach Kacee Reid said. “You’re going through literally every emotion on the bench, especially in a game like that. Frankenmuth is making such a great comeback, and we knew they were going to fight to the end. To go through the anger and sadness and happiness, and now it’s over and we’ve won it. It’s just been a rollercoaster of emotions, and I can’t describe the pride I have in these girls.”
It was the second meeting between the two teams, with Lansing Catholic taking the first 74-42 on Feb. 2. But Reid wasn’t going to let her team come in overconfident.
“They didn’t get here by accident,” Reid said. “They’re in the state championship because they’re playing their best ball of the year. We played them a month and a half ago. … We’re a totally different team, and we knew they were a totally different team. We knew they had been playing some really good basketball, and it didn’t matter at all what that first outcome was. We knew this was going to be a battle.”
Lansing Catholic (24-5) never trailed, and led by as many as 17 points in the third quarter. Leah Richards led the Cougars with 16 points and nine rebounds, while Anna Richards had 14 points. Gabby Halliwill added seven.
The Cougars were spurred by their defense throughout, holding Frankenmuth to 9 of 36 shooting from the field and forcing 13 turnovers.
“For us, defensively, we had to switch it up,” Reid said. “We had to keep switching up between man and zone. They were making adjustments and we couldn’t really sit in one thing for too long; they got comfortable. That’s a credit to their coaching staff always making adjustments. We had to continue to switch things up defensively and try to hopefully make their shooters second-guess their shot, or maybe not know where we were coming from.”
Frankenmuth (25-3) didn’t go away, despite trailing by double digits for the majority of the game.
That was helped by Lansing Catholic shooting 1 of 11 from the field in the third quarter, and going scoreless for the final 5:26 of the frame.
The Eagles cut the lead to seven with 2:45 to play on a steal and layup from Clare Conzelmann, but never got closer.
“There was always belief no matter what detriment we got ourselves in,” Frankenmuth senior Lexi Boyke said. “I wouldn’t want to choose any other girls to play with and be in with at that point. I think we fought back and really prided ourselves on, ‘We can still do it.’ We didn’t stop fighting until the end.”
Lansing Catholic always figured Frankenmuth would make a run to get into the game, but was ready when it came.
“We knew they were going to make runs, we knew we weren’t going to hold them to seven points the whole game,” Anna Richards said. “We knew in the third quarter they were going to score, so we just had to stay composed, work the ball around on offense to get the good shots that we wanted.”
Boyke, who scored Frankenmuth’s first 10 points and was its only scorer well into the third quarter, finished with 16. She also reached 1,000 career points in the game, and had six rebounds, while Izzy Bernthal had seven.
Frankenmuth was making its first Finals appearance since winning the Class C title in 1996, one year after Lansing Catholic.
“That’s a really good Lansing Catholic team, and you’ve seen that from their postseason run and beating an undefeated West Catholic team, and tonight finishing their season off with a state championship. So, congratulations to them,” Frankenmuth coach Joe Jacobs said. “I’m super proud of our kids. They didn’t quit tonight. They could have. … Fun experience, one that we want to treasure forever, but the motivation to come back again is here after tonight’s loss.”
PHOTOS (Top) Lansing Catholic celebrates its Division 2 championship Saturday night at Breslin Center. (Middle) The Cougars’ Anna Richards (10) attempts to get a shot up over Frankenmuth’s Lexi Boyke. (Below) Tessa Roe (12) works to get past Clare Conzelmann and to the basket.